Mozambique name squad for COSAFA Under-20 Championships

Mozambique will bring a largely experienced squad of players to the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships, sponsored by PPB, when they take part in the competition in South Africa’s North West province from December 7-16.

The youngest player in the squad will be 17-year-old midfielder Hermenegildo Capena, with most born in 1997.

The side will be coached by former Mozambique international striker Arnaldo Ouana, who featured for the Mambas at the 1996 African Nations Cup finals that were also played in South Africa.

Mozambique are still searching for their first-ever COSAFA Under-20 Championships title having been beaten finalists in 2008.

They lost to then hosts South Africa on that occasion but will be hoping to go one better this time round after disappointingly losing out in the first round of the event since then.

They will be among the top contenders this year as they have traditionally put in strong performances in the competition without managing to quite go all the way.

Many will be hoping to put themselves in the shop window with a steady stream of Mozambicans making their way to the Portuguese League over the years, or into neighbouring South Africa.

And they will arguably consider themselves favourites in the three-team Group D along with Comoros Islands and Central African guest nation DR Congo.

The side was disappointingly ousted in the first qualifying round of the 2017 African Youth Championships when they were beaten on the away goals rule by fellow COSAFA side Mauritius.

Mozambique squad:

Goalkeepers: Leandro Caiado, Antonio Muquetua.

Defenders: Danilo Muze, Candido Mathe, Blessings Kuluza, Osvaldo Muatuche, Edilson Soares.

Midfielders: Hermenegildo Capena, Bruno Langa, Andre Manhica, Victor Mario, Mussa Joao, Joaquim Mapangane, Yuran Ribeiro, Eduardo Mondlane.

Strikers: Elsino Celestino, Dinis Ibraimo, Nilton Ernesto, Ibraimo Sultuane, Rui Milombo.